The four kayas

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The four kayas

Postby Epistemes » Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:45 pm

Can someone give me some reference point for understanding the four kayas?

I've read definitions, seen the terms used in context, etc., but they don't make much sense to me.
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Re: The four kayas

Postby alwayson » Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:13 pm

They are inseparable.

You can not have one without the others.

In other words, all are just aspects of Buddhahood.
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Re: The four kayas

Postby alwayson » Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:25 pm

The human BODY in its natural state is the Sambhogakāya

The human MIND in its natural state is the Dharmakaya (i.e. omniscience)
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Re: The four kayas

Postby Epistemes » Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:49 pm

alwayson wrote:The human BODY in its natural state is the Sambhogakāya

The human MIND in its natural state is the Dharmakaya (i.e. omniscience)


I've gathered that frmo my reading. It still makes little sense to me. Plus, what about Nirmankaya?
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Re: The four kayas

Postby conebeckham » Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:35 am

This present human body can be the Nirmanakaya, if one actualizes the realization of the Dharmakaya.
The Dharmakaya is the true, absolute Reality of Buddha, and is called the "Benefit for Oneself."
The form kayas are "seeming" manifestations of the Buddha, and are the "Benefit for Others."

Nirmanakaya can appear to deluded fortunate beings, while Sambhogakaya appears to Aryas, I believe.
But, FROM IT'S OWN SIDE, all is truly inseparable in the Dharmakaya, beyond conceptual understanding.
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Re: The four kayas

Postby Malcolm » Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 am

Epistemes wrote:Can someone give me some reference point for understanding the four kayas?

I've read definitions, seen the terms used in context, etc., but they don't make much sense to me.


This is a species of Buddhist doceticism.

Dharmakāya, in brief, has several different versions. The basis version is that Dharmakāya is the complete realization of emptiness and the omniscience that springs from that realization.

Sambhogakāya is, in this basic version, rarified form body which exists outside samsara and is responsible primarily for communicating dharma to advanced bodhisattvas.

Nirmanakāya manifest to ordinary beings.

These terms get used differently in Vajrayāna systems where the three kāyas are understood as different aspects of the nature of the mind, clarity, emptiness and the inseparability of the two.

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Re: The four kayas

Postby sangyey » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:02 am

Can Nirmanakaya manifest in subtler forms such as light forms or something?
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Re: The four kayas

Postby Epistemes » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:17 am

Namdrol wrote:These terms get used differently in Vajrayāna systems where the three kāyas are understood as different aspects of the nature of the mind, clarity, emptiness and the inseparability of the two.


What about svabhavikakaya? My understanding of it is that it is the highest (greatest) of all the kayas and incorporates the other three - which seems to be suggesting that svabhavikakaya is synonymous with actual Buddhahood.
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Re: The four kayas

Postby Virgo » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:36 am

Epistemes wrote:
Namdrol wrote:These terms get used differently in Vajrayāna systems where the three kāyas are understood as different aspects of the nature of the mind, clarity, emptiness and the inseparability of the two.


What about svabhavikakaya? My understanding of it is that it is the highest (greatest) of all the kayas and incorporates the other three - which seems to be suggesting that svabhavikakaya is synonymous with actual Buddhahood.

Svabhavikakaya denotes that the three kayas are inseparable by their nature. All sides of one coin, though they are described as three aspects. Dharmakaya is the enlightened truth itself. Sambhogakaya is it dancing, enjoying the union of emptiness and clarity in whatever form it likes. Nirmanakaya is it's creations, to tame and help sentient beings based on their karma. Svabhavika means natural, as in natural condition. Svabhavikakaya refers to the natural condition of the three kayas-- inseparable, not three but one.
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Re: The four kayas

Postby sangyey » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:47 am

Is there any distinction in terms of the 4 kayas where the enlightened mind while remaining it's individuality also has access to all of reality at the same time with different kayas representing these aspects of individuality and ultimate expanse?
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Re: The four kayas

Postby Malcolm » Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:16 pm

Epistemes wrote:
Namdrol wrote:These terms get used differently in Vajrayāna systems where the three kāyas are understood as different aspects of the nature of the mind, clarity, emptiness and the inseparability of the two.


What about svabhavikakaya? My understanding of it is that it is the highest (greatest) of all the kayas and incorporates the other three - which seems to be suggesting that svabhavikakaya is synonymous with actual Buddhahood.


It can be a name for the intrinsic idenitity of all three kāyas in Vajrayāna; in sutra, in general, it is a synonym of Dharmakāya.

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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: The four kayas

Postby AilurusFulgens » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:40 pm

What is then the "Rainbow Body of Great Transference" as possessed by Padmasambhava in this trikaya-doctrine?

Where does it fit in?
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Re: The four kayas

Postby Malcolm » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:42 pm

AilurusFulgens wrote:What is then the "Rainbow Body of Great Transference" as possessed by Padmasambhava in this trikaya-doctrine?

Where does it fit in?



Generally considered to be a sambhogakāya.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: The four kayas

Postby AilurusFulgens » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:30 pm

Namdrol wrote:
AilurusFulgens wrote:What is then the "Rainbow Body of Great Transference" as possessed by Padmasambhava in this trikaya-doctrine?

Where does it fit in?



Generally considered to be a sambhogakāya.


So this would then perfectly fit with what "alwayson" posted i. e. "The human BODY in its natural state is the Sambhogakāya."

Is it therefore perfectly safe to say that this physical body of ours made of flesh, bones, sinews et al. is in its natural state a Sambhogakāya?

What about the Nirmānakāya? Is the following interpretation valid?

Nirmānakāya = ordinary physical body of flesh and bones (and nothing else)

Or can there be also other interpretations to the Nirmānakāya?
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Re: The four kayas

Postby conebeckham » Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:48 pm

I think there are two key points to always keep in mind....First, all three of these "bodies," or four, if you add Svabhavakaya, (which is really a sort of summation, or, as Namdrol pointed out, sometimes a synonym for Dharmakaya), are inseparable in truth.
So, to say Nirmanakaya is only the flesh-and-blood body is incorrect, as this Nirmanakaya is primordially inseparable with the Dharmakaya.

Second, it is the Dharmakaya which is to be realized by the practitioner. Having actualized the Dharmakaya, which we can say is something like "The Buddha Mind," the "Buddha Bodies" manifest unimpededly.

As for the Sambhogakaya being the "physical body in it's natural state," I don't think there is a such a thing as the "Natural State of the Physical body." If you're talking about Light Bodies, then it's not really appropriate to say they are "physical," is it?
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Re: The four kayas

Postby Malcolm » Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:14 pm

conebeckham wrote:
As for the Sambhogakaya being the "physical body in it's natural state," I don't think there is a such a thing as the "Natural State of the Physical body." If you're talking about Light Bodies, then it's not really appropriate to say they are "physical," is it?



The rūpakāya is two fold. Rūpa here means material. Light is a part of matter since it is an object of the eye.

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: The four kayas

Postby conebeckham » Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:13 pm

Namdrol wrote:
conebeckham wrote:
As for the Sambhogakaya being the "physical body in it's natural state," I don't think there is a such a thing as the "Natural State of the Physical body." If you're talking about Light Bodies, then it's not really appropriate to say they are "physical," is it?



The rūpakāya is two fold. Rūpa here means material. Light is a part of matter since it is an object of the eye.

N


AOK, got it! Thanks.
So, would you say that the "light Body" (which, I suppose, is the Sambhogakaya?) is "the Natural State Body?"
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